By Carmen Scruggs
Clinton County Sheriff’s Office helps ensure St. Johns residents’ safety and security by providing special protection and rescue services.
One of these services includes the Clinton Special Rescue Team. According to the office’s 2011 annual report, Clinton County law officials have expanded some safety programs, like the rescue team.
The team currently consists of 37 trained members that respond to calls such as suicides and missing people. In 2011, the team responded to five calls, one which included assisting the DeWitt City Police in finding a suicidal teen.
Admittance onto the rescue team requires extensive training. Before becoming an official team member, a person must go through an eight-hour rope awareness class, a 40 hour Search and Rescue Operations class, a 10-hour training with a canine group and a search management class.
Some expansions in background education for 2012 include additional exercises with a canine group unit and training members in National Incident Management System courses.
Training is not solely limited to land search and rescue, however. Water and ice training, confined space rescue and underwater rescue are all a part of rescue missions and coaching.
Team training for water and ice rescue includes 10 hours of ice rescue training and eight hours of surface rescue training, which is conducted in Motz Park. The objectives for 2012 include additional surface water and ice rescue training.
Increased training and participation has been especially beneficial for the underwater rescue and recovery unit. The team trains 10 hours each month and responded to eight evidence dives, four body recoveries, two vehicle recoveries and three rescues.